Ginger Baker

Ginger Baker

Infobox musical artist
Name = Ginger Baker

Img_size =
Img_capt =
Background = non_vocal_instrumentalist
Birth_name = Peter Edward Baker
Alias =
Born = birth date and age|1939|8|19|df=y
London, England
Instrument = Drums, percussion
Genre = Blues-rock, hard rock, psychedelic rock, jazz
Occupation = Musician, Songwriter
Years_active = 1958-present
Label =
Associated_acts = Cream
Blind Faith
Ginger Baker's Air Force
John Mayall's Bluesbreakers
Masters of Reality
URL = []

Peter Edward "Ginger" Baker (born 19 August 1939, Lewisham, South London) is an English drummer.

Baker gained fame as a member of the Graham Bond Organization (GBO) and Cream from 1966 until 1968. He later joined Cream bandmate Eric Clapton along with Ric Grech and Steve Winwood in the 1969 group Blind Faith. In the early 1970s, Baker toured and recorded with a fusion rock group, Ginger Baker's Air Force.

Baker's drumming attracted attention for its flamboyance, showmanship, and his pioneering use of two bass drums instead of the conventional single 'kick' drum. As a firmly established jazz drummer, he dislikes being referred to as a "rock drummer." [cite video
people = Baker, Ginger
title = Cream: Classic Artists
medium = DVD
publisher = Image Entertainment, Inc.
location =
date = 2006
] He is also noted for using a variety of other percussion instruments and for his application of African rhythms to much of his drumming. Evidence of this African influence can be appreciated in Ginger Baker's work in association with Fela Ransome-Kuti where he sat in for Fela's drummer Tony Allen in recording sessions published in 1971 by the Regal Zonophone / Pathe Marconi Label under the record title "Fela Ransome-Kuti and The Africa '70 with Ginger Baker Live!" While at times performing in a grandiloquent manner similar to that of Keith Moon of The Who, Baker was also capable of the more restrained playing he had heard with British jazz groups during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Baker also performed lengthy improvisational drum solos, his most famous of all being the thirteen-minute drum solo from "Toad", heard on Cream's double album "Wheels of Fire".

He and Cream bandmates Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton have all played together in other musical groups. Baker and Bruce played together in the Graham Bond Organisation, Blues Incorporated and BBM, Bruce and Clapton played together near the end of Clapton's tenure with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, and Clapton and Baker played together in the short-lived supergroup Blind Faith right after Cream's breakup.

Since 1986, Baker has released several albums of ethnic fusion and jazz percussion, and has toured with various jazz, classical music, and rock ensembles, including a reunited Cream. He has collaborated often with Bill Laswell. As well as bands carrying his own name, such as Ginger Baker's Air Force, Baker Gurvitz Army (1974–1976), Ginger Baker's Energy (1976), and the Ginger Baker Trio, which included jazz bassist Charlie Haden and Bill Frisell on guitar (recordings released in 1994 and 1996), Baker has also at various times been a member of Hawkwind (1980), Atomic Rooster (1980), Public Image Ltd (1986) and Masters of Reality (1990). In 1994 Baker joined BBM (Bruce-Baker-Moore), a short-lived power trio formed along with Jack Bruce and guitarist Gary Moore.

Baker currently resides in Tulbagh, South Africa. In 2008 he was defrauded by a bank clerk, Lindiwe Noko, of almost half a million Rand (£30,000 or $60,000). [cite news | title = Bank clerk defrauds drummer | url =,,2-7-1442_2385534,00.html | work = | date = 2008-08-31 | accessdate = 2008-08-31]


Blind Faith Discography

*"Blind Faith" (1969)

Cream Discography

*"Fresh Cream" (1966)
*"Disraeli Gears" (1967)
*"Wheels of Fire" (1968)
*"Goodbye" (1969)
*"Live Cream" (1970)
*"Live Cream Volume II" (1972)
*"Royal Albert Hall London 2 May-3-5-6 2005" (2005)

olo Discography

*"Ginger Baker's Air Force" (1970)
*"Ginger Baker's Air Force II" (1970)
*"Stratavarious" (1972)
*"Eleven Sides of Baker" (1977)
*"From Humble Oranges" (1983)
*"Horses & Trees" (1986)
*"No Material" (1987)
*"Middle Passage" (1990)
*"Going Back Home" (1994)
*"Ginger Baker's Energy" (1995)
*"Do What You Like" (1998) – compilation
*"Coward of the County" (1999)
*"African Force" (2001)


* "Live ! (with Ginger Baker)" by Fela Kuti (1971)
* "Band on the Run" by Paul McCartney and Wings (1973)
* "Levitation" by Hawkwind (1980)
* "Zones" by Hawkwind (1983)
* "This Is Hawkwind, Do Not Panic" by Hawkwind (1984)
* "Album by Public Image Limited (1986)
* "Unseen Rain" with Jens Johansson and Jonas Hellborg (1992)
* "Sunrise on the Sufferbus" by Masters of Reality (1992)
* "Around the Next Dream" by BBM (1994)


Baker's kit is Drum Workshop (DW), but used to be Ludwig in the 1960s and 1970s. All of his cymbals are by Zildjian. The rivet ride cymbal and the hi-hats were used on the last Cream shows in 1968.


;1960s20"x 11" Bass (right foot), 22"x 11" Bass (left foot), 12x8" & 13x9" top toms, 14x14" & 16x14" floor toms. 1940s 6.5" x 14" black finished Leedy Broadway wood Snare. Snare tuned high, toms and bass low. In 1968, Baker got a new drum kit with 20"x14" & 22"x14" bass drums for the farewell tour.

;Currently10"x 8" 12" x 8" 13" x 10" 14" x 12" Toms (all on stands)20"x 14" & 22" x 14" Bass Drums13" Craviotto DW Snare14" Leedy Snare (Spare)DW 5000 Bass Drum Pedals4 DW cymbal stands1 DW HiHat Stand1 DW Snare StandZildjian Ginger Baker 7a sticks

Cymbals (Zildjian)

*16" crash,
*left lower - 13" crash,
*14" hi-hats; right front top -
*14" ride, front lower -
*20" ride, back top -
*22" rivetted crash/ride,
*back lower - 18" crash and in the middle a "Joke effect" splash (size unknown).

*16" K Crash
*14" Hi Hats
*8" Splash
*8" EFX #1 Splash
*10" EFX #1 Splash
*8" Splash
*13" Hat
*23" Rivet Ride
*18" China
*18" Medium Crash


*2 Cowbells
*DW heads were used for the Albert shows, but now Baker uses Remo heads.Fact|date=June 2008
*1960s-1970s, Remo/Ludwig drum heads on all drums


External links

* [ The Ginger Baker Site]
*allmusicguide | id=11:aifqxqw5ldse~T0
* [ Biography & Discography] at

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Look at other dictionaries:

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